September 27, 2008 Subject:
How old is that kid?
There's something really wrong here... she lights probably 9-10 candles, yet all the kids at the party look to be about 4-5 years old.
I guess the message should be "Use Pillsbury if you're baking a cake for your own 'Special' child."
Yeah, I'm probably going to go to hell for that one, but the continuity director should have caught this!
February 16, 2008 Subject:
I love Cake! This commercial makes the product quite appealing, and makes me hungry!
June 27, 2006 Subject:
Cake Mixes and Maternal Guilt
An unseen woman makes a cake from a cake mix for a kid's birthday party coaxed along by an ingratiating male narrator. How come we never see her face? Because any woman in the early sixties who used a cake mix wouldnât dare show her face! Women were supposed to make cakes from âscratch.â This ad tries to take the sting out of using a mix. T.L. Rowe, (in her comment on my previous review) says women at the time didn't feel guilty about using mixes. That wasn't my experience--and even now, mothers still feel guilty if they bring store-brought cookies and cakes to their kid's school or church bake sales. This ad tries to sell young mothers on cake mixes by implying that it's OK to serve them to a non-judgemental group (i.e., children). It's no accident that we don't see the mother's face or any other adults in the commercial.
Note that the announcer doesnât refer to the cake making as cooking; itâs âfunâââFun is a little child watching you make a party from a package!â In other words, fun is a little child too young to know what a lousy mother you are for using a cake mix. The ad uses a lot of offbeat camera angles and an informal jazz soundtrack to further disengage the process of the cake being made from the person making it. Itâs as if the cake makes itself. Then we move on to the frostingââFun is frosting! Fluffy, white, swirly, high! Pillsbury, too!â Yes, this bad mom went on to use a frosting mix. Sheâs a goner. âLight the candles of fun on your golden yellow cake!â The ad ends with the kids running away from an empty picnic table to play in the yardâsee, theyâre happy! Youâre not such a bad mom after all. Even today, in commercials for convenience foods, thereâs always a narrative supplied (like a mom coming home from work or an afternoon of car-pooling) that justifies her use of cooking short cuts. Convenience cooking is still seen as a sign of negligent motherhood.
Reviewer:T. L. Rowe
May 26, 2006 Subject:
Good selling points, even for the era
As someone who was a homemaker in the early 60s, I must disagree with the previous reviewer who implied this ad was trying to overcome the stigma of using mixes during that era. There was no stigma!I cooked most things from scratch and still do, but often used mixes, as did my friends. When there was a mix that tasted good, we used it.
As for the ad, think about the concept: You watch your Mom mix up a cake. (And, cake mix cakes really ARE easy to mix up!) She bakes it then frosts it just for you and your friends. They know it was your Mom who did it and they love it! Wouldn't you think of that as fun? I did and still do. I think this ad does a good job of showing that even busy working women (and there have been lots of those since the 1940s)can bake some fun.
The message of this ad would be successful now, with updated material.
February 22, 2004 Subject:
dave brubeck likes pillsbury too
Hey there, cool cats and kittens, try this jazzy new fake cake. In this box is nothing but PARTY! Yes! PARTY! Great shots of greedy children devouring the cake, and gratuitous closeup shots of moist morsels being split. Frosting-a-go-go!
February 19, 2004 Subject:
Stop looking at me!
An out of the ordinary commercial for Pilsbury where we find out fun is a child watching you make a party from a (cake) package. I guess they've never seen my Mom bake then. The commercial utilizes some very nice angles and hep music to get it's point across to good results.